Trevi Fountain

Last night in Italy. Last nights overseas.

We haven’t really spent much time thinking about our ‘last night’ in many places (except in Norway when we spent an exceptionally long time enjoying the sauna); but tonight is a special ‘last night.’ It’s our last night in Europe. Our last day and night before we begin the multi-day journey back to the Pacific Northwest, our home. We’ve been in Europe for 4 months, plus an additional 2.5 before a brief interlude in the States for a wedding. Europe feels like home, normal, even all the things that annoy us just feel regular.

And yet, we’re about to start the journey home (it’s taking extra time since we’re spending a 2 day layover in Istanbul and a 3 day excursion with family in Illinois) with the feeling that another leg of our journey is about to begin.

You see, we don’t have a place to live, we don’t know what we’ll be doing when we get there, we don’t know how we’ll get around. So really, things are just par for the course! We have lived with such uncertainty, such a transient, fluid life in these past 10 months that I feel very well prepared for whatever is to come in the next month or two back in America. Travel does that for you.

Sometimes I think that going home shouldn’t be a big deal. In the grand scheme of my short 31 years, 10 months really isn’t that long. But they have been formative months; months that have taught me many things about myself, my relationship with my husband, what I want out of life; possibility; limits. All important things.

Our last day in Italy was so very Italian and just as uncertain as our life is about to become. We came to Italy to work on a farm, and while Jon did that most of the time, I built a website (which looks great, check it out!). The endgame for me was to harvest olives, take them to the press and make olive oil. To taste freshly pressed olive oil seemed wonderful. And so that was the plan until 11am in the morning when we learned we would not harvest, nor press. So Jon and I decided to spend our last night in Rome. A quick turnaround, quick plan-making and, while there was quite a bit of annoyance, we chose an acceptance of new circumstances. I think that’s a big lesson this trip has taught me – accept and move on.

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Anyway, tonight we walked all over Rome, stumbling across sculpture, ancient ruins and modern amenities as one does in Rome. Tomorrow we fly to the true crossroads of East and West: Istanbul. We won’t have time to nearly do justice to this great city. It’s really just a layover but I’m thrilled to have a bit of adventure and exoticism before flying to a completely familiar country where I understand the language, the mannerisms, the cultural nuances. That’s what travel is about isn’t it – putting yourself in unfamiliar situations to learn, grow, be inspired, be challenged, have fun, be terrified, be ok with things?

In any case, the time has come to begin our journey home, which really just seems like part of the journey itself. Thank god I got a nice coppetta di gelato before leaving!


About the Author : Jess SternJessica has an insatiable appetite for travel. She loves experiencing culture in every way. She loves art, music, food and sharing stories.View all posts by Jess Stern

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